"When we first unrolled the printed fabric and looked at the piece, I think we were all fairly staggered. It was huge, and we were concerned that there might not be room in Ben’s cell for him to work on it. At first sight it was a jumble of different lines, but as we read the instructions and understood what was needed it began to make sense. Ben, of course, saw the possibilities, and the practicalities, quicker than anyone else. The first thing that he did was to create a frame that allowed him to work comfortably; this helped him manage but had a tendency to distort the lines. We had some very technical discussions about whether a particular line was horizontal, vertical or diagonal as they seemed to change in or out of his frame.
As he worked on it the fabric sprang to life, and the different stitches added depth and interest and the piece became increasingly exciting. Ben was concerned about how he would know whether he had done enough, and we were concerned that too much might break the effect required. It was a difficult decision to know when to stop.
The finished piece is remarkable, and I am so delighted that Ben was given the opportunity to work on such a prestigious project. Commissions mean a great deal to our stitchers and they take immense pride in each one, especially if they are working for an artist and know that their part in the work will be on show in a gallery or be sold for charity."
- Caroline Meyrick, Fine Cell Work volunteer